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Bookmark for Next Summer: 7 Storage Ideas to Steal from a High/Low Beach Shack

This time of year—when the weather’s still warm, but you start to notice the sun clocking out earlier and earlier—is always tinged with a little bit of sadness. That bite of lobster roll, that sunset dip in the ocean, that warm evening post-dinner walk—they all come with a side of regret. Why didn’t I do more of this?

I can’t turn back time, but I can plan ahead. Next summer I vow to take the kids camping, to have more meals outdoors, to set up a badminton net in our yard. And to rent a little beach house just like this one on Fire Island in New York. Margot wrote about the teeny-tiny A-frame, owned by creative couple Ann Stephenson and Lori Scacco, more than two years ago. It’s one of my favorite house tours. The home is bright, simple, and filled with smart and inexpensive storage and organization ideas. Here are seven storage essentials to steal from this admirably tidy and chic beach house.

Photography by Kate Sears.

1. Ekby Shelves

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Above: The home is small—410 square feet in total—so every inch of space has to be considered. Here, in a corner of the small galley kitchen, over a compact 20-inch stove, Ekby brackets (in birch) from Ikea support a stack of three shelves. The couple painted shelves and brackets Benjamin Moore China White to match the walls and flooring. The Ekby line is so simply designed, it can be used in any room. The Brackets are $6.50 each.

2. Handmade Vessels

In a real high/low moment, just below the Ikea shelving is a wheel-thrown ceramic vase by Michelle Quan, used to store cooking spoons. For a similar vessel, try the Wink Firefly Vase; $280 at MQuan Studio.
Above: In a real high/low moment, just below the Ikea shelving is a wheel-thrown ceramic vase by Michelle Quan, used to store cooking spoons. For a similar vessel, try the Wink Firefly Vase; $280 at MQuan Studio.

3. Peg Rails

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Above: Throughout their home, the couple hung poplar Shaker Peg Rails that they ordered to size from NH Woodworking: “We provided the Benjamin Moore paint code and they even painted them for us.”
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Above: This long peg rail acts as storage for both the kitchen and the entryway. The Hanging Cutting Boards are by Lostine.

4. A Console from Ikea

A white sink skirt conceals what’s stored underneath. Opposite it, the couple made use of the narrow space by introducing an Ikea hack—the $129 Rekarne pine console painted Benjamin Moore China White and fitted with a honed Carrara marble top. The Rekarne is no longer available in US stores. For a similar look, try the Norraker sideboard; $179 at Ikea.
Above: A white sink skirt conceals what’s stored underneath. Opposite it, the couple made use of the narrow space by introducing an Ikea hack—the $129 Rekarne pine console painted Benjamin Moore China White and fitted with a honed Carrara marble top. The Rekarne is no longer available in US stores. For a similar look, try the Norraker sideboard; $179 at Ikea.

5. Aalto Stools

Small White Bedroom Fire Island
Above: The couple use Aalto stools as seating, coffee table, and nightstand. And when they’re not in use; they can be neatly stacked to save space. Ann and Lori collected vintage Alvar Aalto Stacking Stools from eBay and Etsy—”some Danish, some Swedish from various years”—and use them inside and outside. (See our post on Ikea’s Frosta Stool for an affordable look-alike.)

6. Dock Cleats

Have outdoor storage needs? Consider weather-proof, hardwearing nautical cleats. The towel hooks Ann and Lori chose for their outdoor shower are Galvanized Dock Cleats; $1.74 each at Boatstore. For more ideas, go to Nautical Hardware: 7 Cleats for Home Use.
Above: Have outdoor storage needs? Consider weather-proof, hardwearing nautical cleats. The towel hooks Ann and Lori chose for their outdoor shower are Galvanized Dock Cleats; $1.74 each at Boatstore. For more ideas, go to Nautical Hardware: 7 Cleats for Home Use.

7. Collapsible Outdoor Furniture

A fact of beach life is that outdoor furniture needs to be put away once summer’s over. For this reason, the couple opted for a biergarten table and benches, all of which are collapsible for easy stowing at the end of the season. For a similar set, consider Williams Sonoma’s foldable Vintage Biergarten Table; $599.
Above: A fact of beach life is that outdoor furniture needs to be put away once summer’s over. For this reason, the couple opted for a biergarten table and benches, all of which are collapsible for easy stowing at the end of the season. For a similar set, consider Williams Sonoma’s foldable Vintage Biergarten Table; $599.

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